Guided Beginning Meditation
November 6, 2017
Nayaswami Jaya leads a 36-minute guided meditation focusing on the breath, bringing in devotion and God, feeling Joy and Peace, and thereby deepening awareness of the divine presence within.
Nayaswami Jaya Helin is among the founding members of Ananda, and a long-time meditator and teacher. He serves to guide Ananda India.
Welcome, friends, to today's meditation. My name is Nayaswami Jaya, and I will be guiding us through a 30-minute meditation. But before I begin, I would like to share with you a few steps or reminders to keep in mind that will help you to go more deeply into your meditation.
Six Steps to Remember to Help You Go Deeper Into Meditation
Very quickly. The first is: keep the body absolutely still, God is found in stillness, and you'll find that if you can relax the body, let all tension go, and stay absolutely in one position, you'll find that you'll be able to dive more quickly and deeply into meditation.
The second point is: learn to still the breath. We'll be using the technique today of Hong Sau that will help to quiet the breath. But you'll find that as the breath begins to moderate, as the breath begins to slow down, you'll find in between the breaths a point of peace and calmness, and you can dive into that peace and calmness and very quickly forget the body in that way.
The third point is: learn to focus once the breath and body have been very still, the life force that normally goes out into the senses and distracts us, distracts the mind, activates the mind, begins to moderate and so consciously try to focus. In this case, we're going to focus our attention first upon the breath. And in various techniques, you focus upon various aspects of meditation. We’ll begin with the breath.
But eventually, it comes to the fourth point I'd like to make, is that we're going to direct the focus of our attention. After we have calmed the breath after we have experienced peace, we're going to focus that attention up at the point between the eyebrows. And in this way will direct the lifeforce through our attention through our focus up to that point between the eyebrows, the spiritual eye.
The fifth point is: as we do this focus, as we calm the breath, we must bring a certain amount of devotional ardor into what we're doing. A great saint, Saint John Vianney said, if you only knew how much God loved you, you would die for joy. And so let's bring that attitude of devotional self-offering devotional ego transcendence into everything that we do, whether it's in the practice of the breathing technique itself if it's in the practice of focusing the tension, the point between the eyebrows, if it's going deep into the peace and calmness and joy that we feel, bring a devotional ardor to what you do.
And this leads us to the last point, which is, do it with God, Let's meditate with God. Meditate with joy. Meditate with peace. Often, we approach meditation with the expectation to receive peace and joy. But really, we receive peace and joy by what we bring to our meditation, so we have to bring those qualities. So, bring God into your meditation and offer yourself up into that consciousness. Do your meditation in the presence of the Guru. Do your meditation in the presence of joy, in the consciousness of joy, and you'll find that mysteriously, joy, peace, calmness, all of these qualities will begin to come in through the back door.
So, let's begin our meditation today. Let's sit up straight. Relax the body.
And let's begin with the prayer. Oh, Infinite Spirit. Oh, infinite joy. All great gurus of Self Realization. I bow to you all. Bless our meditation with Thy presence. Help us to feel Thy guidance. In every atom of our being, let us feel the joy. Be with us in meditation, in all of our thoughts, in our actions, in our daily life. And may we live in Thy consciousness always and forever. Oh, peace Shanti Shanti. Amen.
Now, let's begin with the little chant: Om Namo Bhagavate
Let's begin with a measured breathing exercise.
Inhale to a count of 812345678
hold to a count of 812345678.
And now exhale 2345678.
Again, inhaling through the nostrils. 12345678
Hold 45678 and exhale 12345678.
Now inhale through the nostrils, taking a deep breath, inhale with a double breath.Tense the whole body and throw the breath out.
One more time, inhale double breath, tensing the whole body, vibrating, releasing the tension with an exhale, double breath.
And finally, one more time, inhale, tense, and throw the breath out.
Now let us inhale again, but this time no tension; hold the breath.
Focus your gaze at the point between eyebrows, and gently let the air out, keeping your attention focused at the point between the eyebrows.
And now breathe naturally. Watch the breath coming in through the nostrils and, again, out. And as we breathe naturally, letting the body dictate the pace, pay attention to the breath coming in and out and where you feel the breath. Perhaps you feel it in the diaphragm, perhaps in the chest, in the lungs, or perhaps in the nostrils themselves, in and out.
As you're watching the breath, check your body for tension. Make sure that all body parts are relaxed. The spine is straight, and forget the body if you can. Paramhansa Yogananda used to say, dump the body to go beyond its distractions.
Now as we're watching the breath, gradually bring your attention up to the nostrils and watching it there. And then, as we practice this technique of Hong Sau, you can begin to bring your attention into the upper part of the nasal cavity behind the spiritual eye. That way keeping your attention there at the spiritual eye correlates with that position also of the breath coming into and out of the body. Let's feel that. Let's do this together and feel for a moment. The breath coming in and out, high in the nostrils.
Now when the breath comes in of its own accord without control, mentally follow the incoming breath with the sound of Hong H O N G, Hong. And when the breath wants to go out of its own accord, mentally follow it with the sound of SAU. Let it stay out as long as it wishes, and when the breath of itself wants to come back, follow it again; mentally, Hong SAU, feeling it in the nostrils. Your eyes gently lifted upward, toward the point between the eyebrows. You will notice that the breath will begin to slow, and as it does feel peace in those spaces in between the breaths and dive deeply into that peaceful feeling.
As the breath slows with the body very still, you'll begin to forget the body. And as you do so the life force will begin to withdraw from the mind, restlessness, the body and the senses into the spine itself. And as this happens, you'll begin to feel that peace ever more deeply.
So let us practice together. And during these first minutes of this meditation, I'd like to add one reminder. When the breath comes in, pull your forefinger and touch the thumb, forefinger, and thumb together. As you're saying, Hong, and as you say, SAU, let the forefinger relax forward again. Do this for the first five minutes of your meditation. And then, after that, you can let it go. This is very helpful to keep the willpower strong and focused. If your mind wanders, bring it back. Hong SAU, moving the finger forward to the thumb and then releasing, as you say SAU.
You can put the movement of the forefinger aside now and concentrate on stillness, peace, calmness, mentally repeating Hong Sau.
Let's now conclude our Hong Sau practice by taking a slow deep breath through the nostrils, inhale. And when the lungs are full, hold the breath and concentrate your attention at the point between the eyebrows, bringing all of your lifeforce, all of your energy up to that point.
Now slowly exhale, keeping your attention at the point between the eyebrows.
Let's inhale again slowly through the nostrils. When you have a full lung capacity, hold the breath and focus your attention upward toward the point between the eyebrows looking into the spiritual eye, directing your life force there. If you can hold up to 25 to 40 counts, this is good. But then, let's exhale whenever the need arises.
Now keeping your attention at the point between the eyebrows, breathe naturally through the nostrils and let your inner gaze, your focus, and your concentration be directed upward to the third eye, looking deeply into the dark sense of space behind closed eyes, diving into the peace and stillness, the calm feeling that has been stimulated by our practice of Hong Sau.
If you see a little bit of light there, gaze into that. And we can call into the darkness into the light into the piece, come out of the darkness Mother, bath me in Thy Light or, if you wish, reveal Thyself, reveal Thyself, calling to the Divine. Remember focus your attention with devotional ardor, calling with joy, with peace with love, reveal Thyself, reveal Thyself.
Now in these last minutes of our meditation, let us bring our attention into the center of the heart and to feel Their, the Divine response. Feel the peace, calmness, God's presence, God's love. Receive those blessings in this area of the Anahata chakra.
Let's now expand that feeling in the heart of God's blessings and feel it reaching out beyond this little body to include others, friends, and family. Let those blessings encompass your neighbors, those that you know at work, those that you don't know in your neighborhood, your village or town, the whole country, souls everywhere. Feel your blessings reaching out to include everybody in the joy that you feel we are all One all God's children.
Now let us conclude by sending out blessings of AUM to all souls everywhere.
Ohh, oh,AUMmmmm, Oh AUMmmmm, Oh AUMmmm
Conclude with the prayer.
Oh, Infinite Spirit. Divine Mother. Great masters. Beloved guru
We thank you for your presence in our lives. Guide our footsteps. May we live in Thy joy. May we share that joy. May we become one with that joy.